Denver is blessed with having four seasons. While this makes it attractive to residents and visitors, the changes in seasons can take a toll on your AC system. Regular maintenance can keep your AC system working its best. However, how often does your air conditioning system need to be serviced?
How Frequently Does an AC Need to Be Serviced?
There is a little bit of wiggle room. However, most professionals recommend that your air conditioner be serviced twice a year. At Summit Heating & AC, we recommend having it done once in the spring before the hot weather arrives and once in the fall before the winter cold. Having your AC unit serviced twice yearly ensures that all its parts are in good shape and will operate properly when you need it to work.
What Happens When Your AC Is Serviced?
You might wonder what our Summit Heating & AC technicians do when they service your air conditioner. They focus on several tasks designed to improve the efficiency and extend the lifespan of your AC.
For example, we will lubricate the moving parts in your AC. This way, you know they’re working as smoothly as possible. Additionally, we will clean all the parts of the unit, ensuring that each one is fully functional.
Electricity and airflow are evaluated. If certain parts of your unit are not receiving sufficient electricity, they may not work at their peak performance, or they can break down. If your unit is not producing enough airflow or the vents are blocked, this could also damage your unit. Your AC specialist will bring any problems to your attention when they are identified.
All your air conditioner parts, from the blower to the condenser to the ductwork, will be inspected during maintenance. The technician will evaluate the refrigerant levels to ensure they are right and you don’t have a leak.
The condensate drain can clog easily. During the spring and fall, your AC unit isn’t running, so mold and buildup can grow in the condensate drain faster than you think. We recommend that your AC unit have a ceiling saver switch. This switch deactivates your AC unit if a leak is detected or if the condensate drain is clogged. Installing a ceiling saver switch is better than covering the cost of needing to repair your ceiling and walls because of a leak.
During the maintenance process, the technician will look at your thermostat to ensure that it accurately communicates with your AC unit. If necessary, the tech can recalibrate or reprogram your unit.
An AC service is an in-depth examination of your unit. It includes a lot of maintenance. But the whole point of having your AC serviced is to keep running smoothly and running longer. In addition to having your unit professionally serviced, there are steps that you can take to keep it running its best longer.
Change the HVAC Filter
Your air conditioner and furnace suck in debris, particles, and dust that float in the air. This residue can coat your AC unit, impacting its ability to function. It is equipped with several filters to reduce the amount of residue that comes into contact with your AC unit. Although the filters stop residue from getting into the AC unit, the filters eventually get inundated with dust and other particulates.
For this reason, you need to change your AC filters regularly. For most units, you need to change the filters every three months. However, you may want to switch the filter with greater frequency if you have pets or live in a polluted area. Another reason to change the air filter with greater frequency is if you have people in your home who are dealing with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Think about changing the filter in your AC unit like changing the oil in your vehicle. If you do it frequently, it will extend the life of your unit. If you forget or are negligent about changing the filter, your AC unit will have a shorter lifecycle.
Clean the Area Around the Condenser
The condenser for your AC unit sits outside of your house. It is constantly exposed to dust, falling branches, dirt, and greenery. Sometimes, a twig or other vegetation can fall into the condensers, causing them to jam and creating expensive mechanical damage.
Small animals may see your AC condenser unit as the perfect home. Ants, mice, squirrels, and other critters could start chewing on your AC unit’s electrical wiring. Some find it the ideal home because they are attracted by the water. Chewing on electrical wires is hazardous for small animals and can damage your AC unit.
You should keep five feet of clearance on each side around the condenser. Ensure that trees and hedges are properly trimmed. This will protect your unit and make it less attractive to critters.
Use Vinegar to Clean the Condensate Drain
Condensate drains frequently clog up during the spring and fall because the AC unit is not used. The condensate drain constantly removes water when your AC unit runs at peak speed during a hot day. When your unit is turned off, and as long as the outside temperatures are mild, your condensate drain becomes the perfect home for gunk, mold, and algae. This greenery grows a lot quicker than you might imagine. If the condensate drain gets clogged, you will have a severe leakage or flooding problem. Keep the drain clean by pouring a cup of plain vinegar down the condensate drain every time the season changes.
Monitor Your Vent Covers
Your AC system has a duct system for air distribution. The chilled air from the AC unit passes through the ducts and travels to the different rooms in your home. It blows through the vents in the walls, ceiling, or floor. Monitor your vents, and ensure that there is no mold buildup. Mold buildup on the vents means excessive moisture in your HVAC system. Talk to our HVAC technicians and tell them about your mold problem. We can evaluate your system and recommend steps to address mold growth.
Winterize Your AC Unit
Winterizing your AC unit reduces the risk of weather damage, rust, and wildlife nesting. To do this, use a garden hose to remove insects, droppings, and dirt from the condenser unit. Let it dry thoroughly. Disconnect the power supply to prevent it from automatically turning on if there is an unseasonably warm day. Use foam tubing to insulate pipes and prevent them from freezing. As winter progresses, get rid of any ice or snow from the top of the condenser unit to avoid damage from the sheer weight of the snow.
Denver’s Most Trusted Heating and Air Conditioning Company
Summit Heating & AC is Denver’s most trusted heated and air conditioning company. Since 1998 we have serviced the local community by providing outstanding heating and AC services. Our technicians are NATE-certified. They receive continued training and education, keeping them at the top of their field.
Our services include HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. We offer furnace repair, heat pump installation maintenance and repair, air quality testing, and general and plumbing services. Contact Summit Heating & AC today to learn more about our commitment to keeping Denver residents comfortable and safe.